Monday, November 02, 2009

Weirdo Hippie Freaks (and How You Can Be One, Too) (No, Really, Join Us!)

I think it's already been established that I am pretty annoying when it comes to standards for how I eat. I mean, you know when someone refuses to buy M&M's that it's gone beyond the realm of normalcy, right? The good news is that we will still eat whatever you put in front of us; we're not rude on top of being hippie freaks. The bad news is that our child may feel like she lives in a cave. Because we also don't have a television. I know. Weirdos.

I recently was chatting with a friend about raising kids and food and television and whatnot, and she told me that of all the people who would follow through, I would probably be the one to do it. Because I'm stubborn, she said. And while that's part of it, I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that these are already habits that we have established for ourselves; I can't imagine trying to establish these habits fresh with a baby in tow, or, even worse, with a family that is already used to a certain way of doing things. We are very lucky that we get to start off simply doing for our daughter what we already do for ourselves. I think our success will largely be based on how important an issue is to us as a whole, not how we feel about it only through the lens of whether or not it is good for our kid. It also makes a difference that we were able to make each change one at a time, so the effect on our lives and our budget has been gradual. I wouldn't expect a family that shops for chips and Ho-Hos at a discount store to suddenly dive into the bulk aisle of a health food store. Similarly, I wouldn't expect a family who watches television nightly to just turn it off.

So I say: start small. If you want to change something for yourself or for your entire family or for the family you are working on building, pick one thing, and do it. When it seems normal to be doing that first thing, do something else. Eventually, you'll get where you're going. And if where you're going eventually leads you to stop eating M&M's? Well, I hope you enjoy some for me before you get to that point. I miss those brightly colored discs of joy.

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